Online status of devices?

I’m new to Homey, in the process of setting up my devices and flows.

One of the questions I have is: how can I see if a device is actually still connected/reporting to Homey from the devices view? I still see a couple of bulbs that are physically turned off by the wall switch as “active”.
Obviously I get a “Device Unreachable” error when trying to control them, but it would be nice to get a different identifiable “unreachable” status on them in the devices view if they have not reported for x hours or so. Mi Home seems to be able to identify offline devices just fine, so I guess Homey should also be able to as well?

Hi, welcome!
In home automation you should not switch lights physically off. As they have no power they don’t send an update to Homey to say goodbye.
So it isn’t possible to see it online.
For other devices you could log if they didn’t report for a certain time

Thanks, I know they should not be turned off, but the reality is they might have been disconnected in any numer of ways. IMO this should be apparent from the Device view, as is the case for other Home Automation solutions like Hubitat or Mi Home. I guess most sensors should at least report every 10m or so?

Sensors reporting on a scheduled basis are rather uncommon approach as sending a status without a status change just costs power which you could save. So do not expect devices (mostly sensors here) to report in a frequent manner if there is no change in the measured values. That would be a stupid thing to do. Talking energy effeciency and all.

Other than that, what message is shown for a device not being available is up to the individual app. If it is possible to provide a reason to show, the app can do it if the devloper decided to provide that detail.
In general, if a device is not reachable, it is unavailable. An unreachable device cannot tell you why it is unreachable. Other software manufacturers might show a message based on an assumption. But there is no magic mechanism out there to tell why a device has gone unavailble.
So, if you cut the physical power to a device it is unreachable. It is technically impossible to differ whether the power was cut or whether the network went down or whether the device just left the network. This is technically impossible.
However, depending on the kind of device you might be able to differ between whether a device is there and whether it responds. Because a device could possible be avle to connect but not nesesarily react to your commands. Stuff like that yes. But if the connection is cut physically. No chance to tell why.

Hope this helps a little in the understanding.

1 Like

I understand how it works and why, but I also know that many sensors actually do report every now and then even when no changes were measured (up to every hour or so). And mains powered devices like plugs and lamps will probably report more frequently.

So yes, it would be extremely valuable to have an visual indication on the device when it has not reported in the last 3h for example. In that case there is most likely an issue that needs to be checked. I even would consider that basic functionality, which is probably why almost all other automation solutions do in fact report this one way or another.

While I appreciate the solutions @Dijker created, I think this should be supported natively. As should decent logging for that matter, and I will create some feature requests with Athom later. :slight_smile:

Well, as every device/manufacturer behaves differently, it is not really possible to do a super common implementation. It would be up to the individual apps to implement such. I see your point for generic protocols like z-wave. But a feature for such exist.
You can ask the individual developers of the apps you are using maybe.
I force my sensors to report in every 24hrs latest (possible by firmware setting on the device) so I can keep track on the battery charge. Which is kind of the only point of failure I have so far.

Well, my point was that if SmartThings, Hubitat, Mi Home (and others?) can show this for different types of devices Homey could support it as well. Right now there is no easy way to tell if a device is actually offline other than seeing an error when you try to turn it on (for Plug/Lamp).

And what did Athom tell u when u filed a feature request for this?

I haven’t filed one yet, I just started creating flows yesterday and I ran into some other annoyances and quirks I want to dig into some more before doing so. It feels as if they went a bit too far in trying to simplify Flow creation with those “cards” for example, making it hard to achieve more complex scenarios in an efficient way (e.g. multi-level If/Then/Else). And what about importing/exporting flows for easy editing? But I may still be overlooking some things (Homey Script?), or not have the right mindset yet for how it’s setup in Homey.

In any case the UI/App is 100 times better than that of Hubitat, which I also briefly tried. :slight_smile:

As if Athom ever answers a feature request…

Anyway, I agree this is something that Athom did not think through. I completely agree with @JeeHaa here, it would have been a pretty simple thing to implement. Power consumption is hardly compromised by a status call every 10 minutes or so, especially for mains powered devices.

As for your other questions / remarks. Yes, the homey flow system is oversimplified. Im- and exporting flows is not possible (at least nog for external editing purposes). If you want something more complex, you’ll need to use multiple flows and/or a script. It is what it is: a swiss armyknife - not a fully fledged IoT toolbox.

//gonna look for my fire-free underwear now.